Monday, November 24, 2008

We support Outlaws

I met a woman, an illegal immigrant with a young daughter of primary school age who for the last three or four years has been homeless. She has been staying with friends, acquaintances anybody who will put her up, two or three nights here, a week at the most there. Nowhere in the last three years has she spent longer than a month under the same roof.
Her psychological state now is fragile, her life revolves around her dauighter being able to go to the same school. This women is not quite typical but her story is not unusual amongst asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.
The Home Office rules forbid them to work, even doing voluntary work to fill empty hours is problematic. Officially unable to work, it means people who are often the victims of violence, even of torture or of rape in their home country are forced into the dark recesses of our city. Suicide and self harm are not unusual. Vulnerable women sell the only thing they have left, young men get sucked into drug dealing and petty crime. Ill equipped with language, clothing and survival skills they are left to shift for themselves, in practice they are outlaws, afraid of deportation they rarely seek the protection of the Law.
We do our little bit Brighton Voices in Exile work out of my presbytery, each week they give food for a week to 40 homeless asylum seekers, there is a waiting list to get onto the list of the lucky 40, if you can help, please do.

I was pleased to read this, as mild as it is:

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has appealed for long-term immigrants should be given British citizenship.

Speaking on the BBC Sunday programme yesterday, Cardinal Cormac said there was a responsibility for the country to welcome immigrants to "appreciate the gifts that they bring and also make sure that in some way they are supported. A lot of the people who come are quite vulnerable and can easily be threatened and exploited. But I think also there is a point here about some migrants who come here and are here for years and they are undocumented."
He added: "After a certain time, a way should be given for them to receive citizenship here and so get the benefits of that."

The Cardinal;s comments came after the Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced that advisers were studying the potential benefits of an amnesty for the UK's estimated 700,000 illegal immigrants. He said that allowing long-term illegal immigrants to earn the right to stay in Britain would see "hugely increased" tax revenues.

However, immigration minister Phil Woolas has said any amnesty could lead to more people being exploited by traffickers. And Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said an amnesty would cost the taxpayer at least £500 million in extra benefit payments


nickbris said...

We are always led to believe that this country of ours is the most enlightened regarding refugees & Asylum seekers and the majority of ordinary British people are very kind and accommodating.

That sort of attitude does not sell newspapers.

The garbage gutter press like to give the impression that we are all xenophopic MORONS and odd-balls like Woolas & Field like to suck up to the press thinking it might save them in the event that decent ordinary people can see through their disguise.

Michael Clifton said...

I happen to agree with what Cardinal Cormac said about eventually letting illegals settle here after say 5 years, as was said also by Boris \J0hnson.

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